Basildon Council is holding a public consultation over changes to its council tax support scheme in a bid to further help people living with a disability.

The motion was passed at the recent Police and Resource committee meeting.

The change in the council tax support scheme will mean that any working age household that has a disabled person living in it will automatically get the full 75 per cent discount in council tax.

It will also mean people living with a disability will not be required to go through a means testing process. In a statement the council said households with a disabled person are often likely to be up to £500 a month worse off.

Basildon Ukip leader, councillor Linda Allport-Hodge, said: “This is a positive move forward to help the most vulnerable members of our community. Some of our residents are starting to feel the adverse effects of the Government reforms in disability support so this new proposal will help them out.

“The change to the scheme will cost the council an estimated £45,000 at most for our 2018 and 2019 budget.”

John Day, chairman of Age Matters in Basildon, said while the proposal is generous it does not fully address the financial burdens of the most vulnerable members of the community. He said: “It’s great the council is reaching out to assist the most vulnerable but I think the council needs to carry out their research efficiently and thoroughly.

“Supplementing council tax doesn’t help the elderly or the disabled because it’s care packages that are costing them. My grandmother receives £1,800 on her pension but I need to foot another £2,000 because the pension isn’t enough to cover her monthly care plan costs.”

Conservative councillor Kevin Blake, of the Burstead ward, described the proposed scheme as “wishy washy”. He added: “There’s no deep investigation into this decision. Just because you are disabled doesn’t mean you’re struggling financially. I don’t want to hand out money to someone just because they’re disabled because there are those who are genuinely in need of help. You could be missing out on those who are not disabled, but are on a lower income.”